Illinois State University- Normal, IL

Ideas are changing about the best strategy for reacting when an active shooter is in a school building, and faculty and staff at Illinois State University’s lab schools recently had opportunities to practice different approaches. ISU Police Chief Aaron Woodruff said the standard practice has been to lock the door, turn out the lights and hunker down. “A lot of times, that may not be the best option,” Woodruff said. “We’re teaching teachers to look at options.” “We’ve been trained to continue to be passive,” said Ryan Weichman, assistant principal at Metcalf Laboratory School, but that approach and related strategies started to be rethought after the Columbine High School shooting in Colorado in 1999. Weichman went through a training program called ALICE — Alert. Lockdown. Inform. Counter. Evacuate — at Heartland Community College last year. “It was really eye-opening,” he said. Metcalf hosted another two-day training session this summer. Then Weichman, Woodruff, University High School Assistant Principal Steve Evans and Eric Hodges, ISU’s emergency manager, compared notes and adapted the training to local needs. Read more